A case study to demonstrate the role of community radio in Khayelitsha, South Africa, as a platform for ODL and the empowerment of mothers of children under the age of five
The adoption of community radio as a platform for ODL in Africa plays an increasingly important role in health and development interventions. This paper will explore how a training and mentorship programme contributes to the production of balanced programming that focuses on key health issues and the resultant impact on marginalised women. It will examine the relationship between a collaborative training programme with the Zibonele community radio station in Khayelitsha, South Africa, against the quality of health programming as perceived by listeners. The training programme which has two key components includes face-to-face training and continuous mentorship and support. An interactive relationship enables the radio station to develop programmes that are in line with community needs, thereby developing sustainability through participatory engagements. Throughout the apartheid era people in South Africa were classified by race and subjected to a number of segregatory laws that limited interaction between different ethnic groups. This coupled with poor access to information and low literacy levels has made community radio a popular source of informal learning. Post 1994, the community of Khayelitsha continues to rely on this platform as a source of accurate information in the vernacular language, thus reinforcing the need for capacity at community radio stations to produce quality programming that adequately reflects the needs of its listeners. // This paper will share the results of focus group discussions conducted with women living in Khayelitsha to illustrate how content development has improved over the course of 10 months and how listeners respond to the information provided by the radio station. It will attempt to show the resultant health impact on women by comparing base-line health statistics and will further demonstrate the effectiveness of mentoring and support to community radio stations as a vehicle for ODL. // Paper ID: 395
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